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Thread: Tentative Guidelines for building partner armies post conflict

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post



    As Tom says, it's very complex, and a lot of the effects are 2nd, 3rd and 4th order in the "civilian" area. Roads in and of themselves shift transportation patterns which cause changes in population settlement (think about how the Interstates effected the US). They also cause shifts in production, consumption and employment patterns which may or may not destabilize an area.

    [snipped]

    One other effect of introducing tanks into a country is to shift the balance of power, increasing the importance of those who control them in relation to those who don't. [...] so the gathering of tanks may or may not serve to further destabilize a society.

    As Tom said, it's complex....
    Indeed, in the case of Yemen they got the Chinese to pay and construct their "national road" system. On the outskirts of the city there's even a "Chinese cemetary" built for the Chinese labourers who died during construction. In Sana'a the main overpass over Shari'a Zubayri (sp?) has a large chinese sign over it that I once jokingly commented says "made in china". As for shifting the balance of power that's one of the key "force multipliers" (if you will) that Salah can count on. The sheer ability to move forces by road to (for example) the North vastly improves his attempt to keep his state together yet alone attempt to develop it. Thought he relies upon 10,000+ tribal levies to help with the war he doesn't have to leave the war to them and thus by inserting federal forces can shape both parties actions to his ends (whatever those unfathomable things may be). Conversely, the road network peters out the farther east one gets as does the amount of central government control. They "control" the roads (just barely) and that's about all. Yet the fact they do control the roads means, even though they can't impose central authority, they can influence the tribes by controlling access to the road network (if nothing else, such as education, health services, etc.). Given the produce of the east (fish, Qat and other items) is largely consumed in the west that's a strong plus. Nonethelss, having roads upon which HETT and tanks can travel is ultimately nothing short of useless if you don't have the competent trained crews or forward based CSS units able to operate/maintain tanks effectively (of which Yemen doesn't really have many anyway). I was once meandering down Sharia' Hadha (one of the two main roads in the city) on my way to my local (at the time) Syrian schwarma store for a "sarookh" (Rocket!) when a (apprently) overloaded and barely road-worthy (wheezing, creaking and leaking) Soviet made tank transporter of 1950s vintage rumbled down the road carrying three (and the remains of a fourth) French manufactured AML-90/60 armoured cars each of which had what looked like multiple HMG and RPG strikes. Getting stuff up north may tip the scales in the Yemeni Gov.'s balance but they are useless once they get there (still, at least they can get them back again!!!).
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 04-15-2010 at 03:20 PM. Reason: psellngi; too many for comfort...

  2. #82
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Dayuhan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Certainly it's possible to hypothesize a development model that does not rely on concrete roads, and with sufficient central direction (sufficient meaning a whole lot) one might even implement such a model. While the desire for military mobility in general (not only for tanks) has in many cases driven road construction programs, I'm not convinced that military considerations in general or tanks specifically have been the principal reason for the emergence of road/motor-based development paradigms.
    Actually, I don't have to hypothesize it; it's how Britain, France, the US and most of Western Europe industrialized. The concrete road phenomenon is a result of post WW I development activities both internally and externally. If you wanted more modern examples, Singapore and Brunei offer different ones (variants on the old Port of Trade model using waterborne transport).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    To assess the social consequences of the decision to acquire tanks and the (frequently absent) decision to use them efficiently you'd hve to separate those consequences from those of a whole raft of other parallel factors, and I suspect that at the end of the day the causative role of the decision to acquire tanks would be fairly minor.
    Could be, although I'm not sure how much you could disaggregate them causally given that people often make decisions with minimal logic and multiple justifications (this, BTW, is why I tend to preffer the concept of "mutual arising" to that of "causality").

    Cheers,

    Marc
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    It is, perhaps, not insignificant that when Eisenhower announced our soon to be interstate system, it was as the "National Defense Highway System."

    On the other hand, one can read too much into names. We have a "National Defense School Lunch Program" here, too. That's because tacking "National Defense" on (or "Patriot" for that matter) is a way of shutting down debate. "What? You oppose this thing with 'National Defense' on its label? You unpatriotic B#$^#%d!"

    Minimal logic? Often no logic. Moreover, when someone tries to present a number of reasons for something, very often none of them have any place in the thing at all, but are just camouflage for some other underlying reason they just don't want to admit to. Kind of a pedestrian example of that: We had this female who had come back from Iraq on emergency leave. Every other day she came up with a different excuse not to go back - my mother's dying, I was sexually assaulted, I have this inexplicable pain...etc. I think there were nine such, in total; not unimpressive from a girl who really wasn't all that bright. Then she made a mistake, she brought her three year old son into the office, at which point it became self evident that _that_ was the real reason she didn't want to go back; she missed her _baby_.

    As I pointed out to the SF colonel I was working for, as I handed him the open regulation on how to send her butt back to the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi Dayuhan,



    Actually, I don't have to hypothesize it; it's how Britain, France, the US and most of Western Europe industrialized. The concrete road phenomenon is a result of post WW I development activities both internally and externally. If you wanted more modern examples, Singapore and Brunei offer different ones (variants on the old Port of Trade model using waterborne transport).



    Could be, although I'm not sure how much you could disaggregate them causally given that people often make decisions with minimal logic and multiple justifications (this, BTW, is why I tend to preffer the concept of "mutual arising" to that of "causality").

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Last edited by Tom Kratman; 04-15-2010 at 06:42 PM.

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    The Japanese are an interesting case, an extreme case, and perhaps a unique case. It's very hard to reconcile their more or less gallant conduct prior to and during the Russo-Japanese war with the way they acted from about 1932 onwards. It's possible that earlier they wished to seem more like the west, then, hence tried to be more like the west. It's also possible that the Great Depression changed them. It also seems to me possible that the coming death of Bushido, which Nitobe Inazo predicted, caused an extreme reaction to the point of the psychotic. Or it could be any combination of those or other factors.
    I wouldn't say that it's that difficult to reconcile. The IJA patterned itself on French and German models, and during both the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the Boxer Rebellion sought to accommodate itself to international norms of conduct, even in conflicts when Western observers were not present (First Sino-Japanese War, Korean occupation). IJA leadership specifically set this as a goal and made it a priority for troops in the field. This led to IJA behavior towards POWs and civilians that was markedly better than most Western armies (the contrast between Japanese and German behavior in the Boxer Rebellion was most marked).

    A combination of the rejection of international norms due to the international condemnation of Japan's invasion of China in 1932 and the grinding brutalization of an endless guerrilla conflict in China led directly to the decline in IJA behavior. The IJA high command had undergone a generational shift between the RJ War to a much more aggressive, fascistic, and ultranationalist leadership. The difference between a leadership which subordinated itself to civilian authority and sought to enforce international norms of conduct and one that dictated to civilians and made a fetish of rejecting international opinion cannot be underestimated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    I wouldn't say that it's that difficult to reconcile. The IJA patterned itself on French and German models, and during both the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the Boxer Rebellion sought to accommodate itself to international norms of conduct, even in conflicts when Western observers were not present (First Sino-Japanese War, Korean occupation). IJA leadership specifically set this as a goal and made it a priority for troops in the field. This led to IJA behavior towards POWs and civilians that was markedly better than most Western armies (the contrast between Japanese and German behavior in the Boxer Rebellion was most marked).

    A combination of the rejection of international norms due to the international condemnation of Japan's invasion of China in 1932 and the grinding brutalization of an endless guerrilla conflict in China led directly to the decline in IJA behavior. The IJA high command had undergone a generational shift between the RJ War to a much more aggressive, fascistic, and ultranationalist leadership. The difference between a leadership which subordinated itself to civilian authority and sought to enforce international norms of conduct and one that dictated to civilians and made a fetish of rejecting international opinion cannot be underestimated.
    I don't doubt that those are factors. I do doubt that they're sufficient explanation in themselves for quite _such_ a radical change. I can't even think of a simile that quite does that change justice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Actually, I don't have to hypothesize it; it's how Britain, France, the US and most of Western Europe industrialized. The concrete road phenomenon is a result of post WW I development activities both internally and externally. If you wanted more modern examples, Singapore and Brunei offer different ones (variants on the old Port of Trade model using waterborne transport).
    Early industrialization in Britain, France, and the US was built around and shaped by the modes of transport that were available at that time. They didn't decide to eschew motors and roads because of the potential consequences; they used what they have. That mode is not likely to be repeated in places that have the road-and-motor option, unless geography supports it strongly, as in Singapore and Brunei, which also have most excellent roads and plenty of motors. Once upon a time industry developed along fall lines where shops could be powered by water wheels; this pattern is also not likely to evolve again!

    Seems to me that the concrete road phenomenon was driven by the reduction of the internal combustion engine to a size that made small, independently mobile vehicles feasible. People use what's available to them, and convenience generally outweighs conscious policy.

    Somewhere poor Colin is rolling his eyes and wondering where we took his thread!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Early industrialization in Britain, France, and the US was built around and shaped by the modes of transport that were available at that time. They didn't decide to eschew motors and roads because of the potential consequences; they used what they have. That mode is not likely to be repeated in places that have the road-and-motor option, unless geography supports it strongly, as in Singapore and Brunei, which also have most excellent roads and plenty of motors. Once upon a time industry developed along fall lines where shops could be powered by water wheels; this pattern is also not likely to evolve again!

    Seems to me that the concrete road phenomenon was driven by the reduction of the internal combustion engine to a size that made small, independently mobile vehicles feasible. People use what's available to them, and convenience generally outweighs conscious policy.

    Somewhere poor Colin is rolling his eyes and wondering where we took his thread!
    Eh? I've seen worse threaddrift.

    There is a reason they might. Both rail and canal transport are expensive to build, in terms of man hours mostly, but cheap to operate. Roads are also expensive to build, and not cheap to operate. If you're in a place where man hours are cheap...well...what's the downside? (There are a couple, of course. Rail requires a high degree of managerial expertise, discipline, and of societal stability. Hmmm...quick check....hmmm...Zimbabwe: 3 crashes and 105 fatalities in the last seven years. Electrically powered sections turned off in 2008.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    Eh? I've seen worse threaddrift.
    As have we all I'm sure, but in an RFI thread you can imagine the one doing the requesting watching it drift away and wondering what happened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kratman View Post
    There is a reason they might. Both rail and canal transport are expensive to build, in terms of man hours mostly, but cheap to operate. Roads are also expensive to build, and not cheap to operate. If you're in a place where man hours are cheap...well...what's the downside? (There are a couple, of course. Rail requires a high degree of managerial expertise, discipline, and of societal stability. Hmmm...quick check....hmmm...Zimbabwe: 3 crashes and 105 fatalities in the last seven years. Electrically powered sections turned off in 2008.)
    Certainly if these trends were directed by rational, conscious decisions there would be incentives to move away from road-based transport... but how often and how successfully have such economic evolutions been directed by rational, conscious decisions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    As have we all I'm sure, but in an RFI thread you can imagine the one doing the requesting watching it drift away and wondering what happened...



    Certainly if these trends were directed by rational, conscious decisions there would be incentives to move away from road-based transport... but how often and how successfully have such economic evolutions been directed by rational, conscious decisions?
    Wait! Wait! It'll come to me.

    Does Henry Morgan sacking Portobello and Panama count?

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    Default Watching from my Aotearoa eyrie

    But busy..
    I've been crashing on completing a couple of chapters - including some of the data that you all have been commenting on. I'm not too worried if the thread drifts a bit when I've already gained a great deal of useful data that I'm still working through.

    But, since you ask..
    Who would be the best guys on the board to ask about general SFA principles, grand strategic, military strategic, operational, and tactical level, from Iraq and Afghanistan? I'm reasonably happy I've got the African side of things on the way to being cleared up, but need input from where the fire's been hottest.

    And what of our Special Forces colleagues who have been doing FID since before it was fashionable? Anybody I should talk to?

    I've learned a great amount and I've really appreciated all the inputs I've got so far.
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    But, since you ask..
    Who would be the best guys on the board to ask about general SFA principles, grand strategic, military strategic, operational, and tactical level, from Iraq and Afghanistan?
    Ask and they will come....
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    But, since you ask..Who would be the best guys on the board to ask about general SFA principles, grand strategic, military strategic, operational, and tactical level, from Iraq and Afghanistan? I'm reasonably happy I've got the African side of things on the way to being cleared up, but need input from where the fire's been hottest.

    And what of our Special Forces colleagues who have been doing FID since before it was fashionable? Anybody I should talk to?

    I've learned a great amount and I've really appreciated all the inputs I've got so far. Cheers
    Colin,

    There have been several threads on SFA, notably What is Security Force Assistance & What is JCISFA: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=4997 and there is Security Force Assistance: Roles and Missions for SOF and Conventional Forces ( 1 2 3): http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5305

    Some of those who have posted may not be regular visitors, so a PM or email maybe required.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Thanks David

    I'll follow those up - appreciated your earlier post on my Afghan question which led me to a thread that I didn't know existed.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 04-17-2010 at 08:48 PM. Reason: courtesy

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    Default Thanks everyone

    Hi all,
    Past time for at least a quick update. After some very helpful inputs here, I completed my doctorate on post-conflict army reconstruction in the presence of an international intervention force at Cranfield (Shrivenham) in 2011.

    While I wrote up a number of things about the OECD's SSR principles, I published my model at the Small Wars Journal at

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...ible-or-useful

    Since then, I've published on the Congolese FARDC and the Eastern Africa Standby Force, while I also have a couple of other projects in process.
    Happy to send over copies of these articles if people are interested.

    So just wanted to thank you guys for your inputs, while downrange, the work continues.

    Best wishes all,
    Colin
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-02-2017 at 07:54 PM. Reason: 12,582v until merged into original thread

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